12x12. 144 square feet. That’s the size of the space I live in. It’s bigger than the 5-foot-diameter twig-and-leaf hut I built and lived in the winter of my senior year of college, smaller than the "mud room" of the home I grew up in. I share it with my bewildering and enchanting children, seven and three years old. Sometimes at the end of a long day I do wish that I could simply dump the children in their beds and shut the door. There are times I would gladly give up everything else in my life for a room of my own. And of course there is always the fact that one rather ill child, standing in the center of the room, can, in a single effort, projectile vomit onto EVERY ITEM THAT I OWN. But then again, living in so small a space frees me up. I don't spend a lot of time cleaning or caring for my possessions, I feel a sense of unity with the majority of the world's population, and I have such a low overhead that I don't have to work much. And right now, in the lavender light of dusk, with a candle flickering in the slight breeze from the window, bringing in the scent of lemon blossoms from the garden, I feel more content than I can remember feeling anywhere else.
So let's say, hypothetically, that I am standing in front of the vending machines at UCLA and one of my classmates approaches me to talk about the quality of vending machine coffee. If he, hypothetically, goes on to say that he's been craving Starbucks and is thinking of going after class if I want to wait,